The project The Mark of the Mental (MOM) aims to explore the venerable question of the mark of the mental, i.e., the question of what makes it the case that mental events, states, and properties are mental. In philosophy of mind, this question is not only fundamental, but also timely. For depending on how one addresses it, one may also answer the question of whether other biological species and mechanical devices are endowed with mentality, hence subjects of empathy and respect on the part of humans. Thus, the question will be approached not only theoretically, but also with respect to its likely applications.
MOM’s aim is threefold: a) to question whether there is a chance for intentionality, i.e., the property of being about something or having content, to be the mark of the mental; b) to see if there is a chance for phenomenal consciousness, i.e., the property of something’s having a certain what- it-is-like or phenomenal character, to be such a mark; c) to discuss two aspects of the mark of the mental issue prominent in cognitive science that are related to the cognitive unconscious and extended mind. MOM’s four units will explore such issues both separately and interconnectedly, by exploiting the overall competence of the units’ members on them.
Michele Di Francesco, Alfredo Tomasetta, Giulia Piredda, Marco Fasoli, Mirza Mehmedovic, Arianna Beghetto, Marco Facchin, Giacomo Zanotti